Intel Compute Stick Goes Up For Pre-Order, Ubuntu Linux Versions Coming
Intel's much-anticipated 'Compute Stick' has just hit e-tail, with the most notable e-tailer to stock it right now being Amazon. Right now, there's a 32GB version being sold that packs in an inactive Windows 8.1 installation as well as Android 4.4, and it's priced at $108.83.
Amazon lists these specs: Intel Atom Z3735F quad-core, 32GB storage, 2GB RAM, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, HDMI, dual microUSB ports, one USB 2.0 port, and a microSD card slot. There's also a power button in case you don't want the device to be running all the time.
As an Android device, the Compute Stick would have a ton of use. The Android ecosystem is rich, after all, so you could even install things like Plex or XMBC to it if you want to use it as a media player, and Chrome if you want to kick back on the couch and browse the Web.
It's interesting to note that Windows 8.1 is pre-installed, but it's up to you to activate it. That likely means shelling out up to $100 for a license, given current market pricing. Admittedly, if all you're planning to use the device for is simple tasks like media and browsing, the Android OS will probably suit you just fine. Where the Windows OS would come in handy is for running apps you like that are not available for Android; or, it could be that you simply want a more robust OS - one built around multi-tasking.
As the Compute Stick hits more e-tailers, we're sure to see the price stabilize a little bit. We'll also see a Linux version which should cost a bit less than the Windows one - at least, if what we were told at CES holds true.